Afghanistan War Memorial, Minsk
Famous Isle of Tears is commemorative place build in honor of Belarus who died in 9th year war between USSR and Afghanistan (1979-1988). Today is seat place of many interests not only for tourist then and for local too. Here is place to remembrance for lost love once and place for start to build memories for newlyweds.
The chapel itself is interesting. I spend some time to explore its interiors. There is a upper window on top of monument that makes my exploration easiest task. All over walls are written names of solders died in USSR-Afghanistan war. Also all 4 chapter of chapel has own shrine with interesting religious reliefs. All over the wall are places for candles. There is also and interesting design entrance gates.
The Soviet – Afghanistan War was fought from 1978 until defeat and withdrawal by Soviet troops in 1992. Belarus was always pro-soviet and lost many troops there. The former Soviet Union lost more than 15,000 dead and almost 40,000 wounded. This memorial is actually on a small island called the Island of Tears and is quite sombre. Couples come here on their wedding day to pay their respects and lay flowers. Actual used artillery shell casings abound on the island in and near the memorial and are used to put cash donations into.
The memorial was set up in 1988 and has a poignant Chapel at the centre. It is decorated with the faces of women grieving for their men lost on the Afghan battlefields. Also on the island is a fountain with an angel that cries tears when switched on.
This monument was intended for the dead in the Afganistan War, but later dedecated to all died in the past wars. It is a scalpture of a church with dozens of "Mom"s standing in the front, waiting their sons back from battlefield. Inside the church, there is a hanging bowl, soil from Afagannistan.